This study examines the fundamental influence that culture has on the process and products of defense analysis and strategic planning. It demonstrates that culture, as the primary source of the policy-maker's epistemology, is an essential determinant of the outputs of the strategic planning process. Culture has this effect because strategic planning is nothing more than collection of considered judgments made through the perceptual lens created by one's own culture. The study looks at the components of culture: how and why it forms, is maintained, and changes in support of a specific group's internal integration and external adaptation functions. Through this effort, culture is exposed as a primary cause of individual and collective behavior. As such, it is presented as a principal source of data for understanding and explaining national behavior in the international environment. Concurrently, the study shows that strategic planning, as a fundamentally value-laden process, is highly susceptible to the negative effects of a perspective biased by the planner's own acculturation. Therefore, the subjects of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism are examined. This study also investigates the concepts of strategic culture and national style, in turn, is presented as an artifact of the strategic culture. Finally, a strategic behavior model is presented and briefly tested to demonstrate the methodological linkage between strategic-cultural assumptions and specific security behavior.
Teti, Frank M.
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
National Security Affairs
Naval Postgraduate School
M.A. in National Security Affairs
National Security Affairs (NSA)
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